A mother wrote to me: Today I am struggling with Staying Close as I fear my son’s addiction is taking hold of him again. Part of me wants to say Stay Away, “I don’t want to be your mother anymore. I can’t continue to deal with your addiction.”
My personal reflection on the above passage: I know this feeling of wanting to run away from all the chaos that is addiction. There are times when we, as parents, are so overwhelmed with its myriad problems, legal issues, car crashes, lies, and betrayals that we just want to opt out. Dr. MacAfee, our beloved addiction psychologist, told me, “Obliterating relationships won’t obliterate addiction. I know that parents want the pain to stop, but disowning their child does not alleviate the pain.”
Today’s Promise to Consider: Good, solid, and meaningful boundaries are essential when dealing with addiction. Every parent needs to say what she means and do what she says. This clarity will help not only the parent, but also her suffering child, who needs to know what he can expect. Today, I will tell him clearly what I can and cannot do, and I will mean it. I will follow through. I will respect my boundaries for his sake, and mine. I will stay close and pray that he chooses a different life.